“And when on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at the North Star and howled long and wolf like, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at the North Star and howling down through the centuries and through him.”
[The Call of the Wild by Jack London]

It had all started out so well. A weekend get-a-way with the family. Camping below Mt Baker in the National Forest. With our spot staked out, it was clear looking around the campground that other vacationers had the same good notion. It also became abundantly clear that many had brought full coolers of alcohol. Riotous displays of fireworks soon exploded and the bangs fractured the peaceful spot.

Suzette was not enjoying the patriotic celebration by the highly inebriated campers. Being a very sensitive yet loyal hound, she went into a hyper manic mode attempting to deal with the evident danger that we did not seem to be aware of.

Our Dad determined that the best recourse was to drive Suzette back home ( three hours round trip) while we settled in, and Mom made dinner on the Coleman stove.

Suzette was dumped back at home. The dog was not pleased. She was still manic and howled into the night. Dad got on the road, and headed back to the family.

Meanwhile all hell was breaking loose at the campground.

The campground was total mayhem. Drunken revelry exceeded all expectations. And then some Paul Bunyan penis-envy rabble rousers started throwing double bladed axes at a nearby tree. We had entered some level of the Inferno without Virgil or Dad.

The accuracy of the “woodsmen” was deteriorating as they sucked down more beer. A smart thing to do would have been to run for cover…but our car was gone and the tents did not really offer much protection. So the best strategy seemed to be to track the flight of each deadly weapon and duck if necessary.

The Zombie Apocalypse was here. The inebriated undead attempted to move right into our campsite. Well OK, they might not have been quite undead, but they were in a drunken stupor as they crept towards us. With mush for brains, they were zombies as far as I could tell…and we might just be their next meal. Mom was having none of it.

In an instant, Mom transformed into Calamity Jane and went after the drunken Zombies. There was no stopping her. I was startled to watch my mother in action defending the homestead. They were dumbstruck and did not hesitate to leave the scene.

I had the suspicion that we must have had some back-up to cause such a reversal of fortune, and scare the living daylights out of Zombies. And then I looked behind us.

Now you might conclude that all I saw in the dark fir forest behind us were the sparks from the fireworks, but to my eyes (and ears) Suzette’s call of the wild had brought out ferocious defenders of our shared territory.

We reclaimed our campsite and settled down. Snug in my sleeping bag, I thanked the still and now quiet night for the magnificent, scary and magical time…and howled in my dreams.